Heard at RGA: “People here are excited about a governor being president”

News & Media

HOT AIR - The 2024 Republican presidential primary has begun, whether we’re ready or not, y’all. Trump started it with his official announcement on Tuesday night so now every interview with prominent Republicans will include a question about a potential run for president in 2024. You know it’s already happening.

The Republican Governors Association is holding their annual winter meeting in Florida this week. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu was asked it there were potential 2024 Republican presidential candidates at the conference. Sununu replied, “I have no doubt.” He specifically mentioned Governors Ron DeSantis and Glenn Youngkin. “People here are excited about a governor being president,” he continued, adding, “It’s clearly [what] at least this group of folks want to see.”

Back in April I wrote about Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson perhaps having thoughts about running in the GOP presidential primary. I know at the time it seemed like an off-the-wall suggestion because, well, Asa Hutchinson? Does he have a national profile or any notable accomplishments as a governor of a small, mostly rural southern state? At the time I had that thought because he was doing lots of media interviews and looked like he was trying to be seen. And, as it turns out, he is thinking about it. He’s term limited in his current job so he’s looking at the next move, apparently.

Hutchinson was interviewed on CNN on Thursday and he admitted that he is thinking about a run.

Hutchinson also said he doesn’t think Trump will be successful in the GOP primary as he was in 2016.

It’s going to be interesting, isn’t it? Republicans have a deep bench, and yes, it includes some very successful governors. I don’t know that Hutchinson falls into that category but the voters in Arkansas must approve of him because he’s been re-elected there. Governor DeSantis is the most popular governor right now among Republicans who are speculating about 2024 and Governor Youngkin is also frequently named as a possible contender. Some point to my own governor, Governor Abbott, but, though he has proven himself a strong leader, I am not at all convinced that he has presidential ambitions. We’ll see if that changes. The point is, there is not a shortage of governors who may step forward.

I won’t be surprised to see former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie try another run. He’s remained rather coy when he’s asked about it but he often sounds like he’s thinking about it.

Governors make good presidents. Look no further than Ronald Reagan. Governors gain the kind of experience on a smaller scale that they face in running the entire country. They have to make decisions about everything – budgets, security, social services, natural disasters, emergency declarations, the whole enchilada. It’s just good preparation for the presidency. I certainly prefer a former governor over a former senator. I’ll still take George W. Bush over Barack Obama and Joe Biden any day. Even Bill Clinton understood that in order to run for re-election after his party lost so many seats in his first mid-term election he would have to change course and work with Republicans. That is when we got welfare reform, for example, thanks to Clinton and Newt Gingrich working together. Joe Biden, in comparison, said he’ll change nothing moving forward, though he lost the House and may be stifled in the Senate, depending on the outcome of the December 6 Georgia senate run-off race.

It’s interesting watching the Republican governors take a pass on talking about Trump’s entry into the race. They are doing their best to ignore it while at the same time acknowledging that some of them are interested in the job.

Look for another big GOP primary field when it comes time for everyone to make a decision on whether or not to run. Republican governors will likely be well-represented among the crowd.


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